Review & Photos | Gathering Of The Vibes 2013 | Bridgeport

Saturday, July 27th:

Saturday was a monster day of music. The Funky Meters started the day off right with the bass mastery of George Porter; Von Grey, a quartet of classically-trained teenage sisters from Atlanta tore up the stage with skill; The Roots packed the Main Stage with their hip-hop soul synergy; one of five Vibes acts from Vermont, Twiddle, jammed away to a loyal fan base; Tribal Seeds brought the reggae rhythms; Gov’t Mule, set to release a new record on September 24th, gripped the crowd with a stirring rendition of “After Midnight” in honor of the recently departed J.J. Cale with sit-ins by Scofield, Evans and Porter; and Rob Garza and James Murphy satiated those seeking to get weird with some wacky late night DJ sets laced with lunacy.

Steve Kimock & Bernie Worrell :: 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM :: Green Vibes Stage

Ironic that the man that Jerry Garcia once dubbed as his “favorite unknown guitarist” would steal the show at Vibes. Inexplicably, Kimock may not be listed on Rolling Stone’s List of Top 100 guitarists or well-known outside the jam sphere, but at Vibes, he demonstrated yet again that he is a trailblazing master of his craft. A curious innovator (and guitar collector) who experiments with different sounds, Steve is able to hone in on unique tones while carving a niche of his own. Known mostly for his improvisational work with the band Zero, his recent work as a member of the Mickey Hart band and for being the first man to replace Jerry Garcia with the Dead in 2003, Kimock has miraculously flown under the radar – with performances like the one at Vibes, this may not continue for long. With friends including his talented son John (drums), Andy Hess (bass) Camille Armstrong (vocals), Bill Evans (sax) and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bernie Worrell (keys), this set was consistently mentioned as the strongest of vibes from those in attendance. With a guest-sit in by George Porter, Jr., adding a thicker layer of funky beat to that already provided by Worrell on “You’re the One”, saw all players let loose for a relentlessly tight 12-minute jam clinic. Similar to critics of Darryl Strawberry’s natural ability when he came up, that he must have been dogging it, Porter plays so well and with such seemingly effortless ease that it all just looks so easy that he must not be trying. It was a showcase of three professional veterans and school was in session. Kimock credited his son, John, with pulling all the talent together and you could feel his exultation of pride when he explained why it worked so well, “we have such incredible chemistry on stage.” Kimock will be joining Bob Weir and Ratdog at the Peach Fest later this month and remains a virtuoso that any jam fan or fan of guitar mastery will not want to miss.

Set List: New Africa, Five B4 Funk, 54 46 (was my number), Come Together, You're the One (w/George Porter Jr on bass), Simple Song,Take Me to the River

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals :: 4:15 PM – 5:45 PM :: Main Stage

Amidst a massive tour, it’s been a very busy year for GP&N. It was apropos that the beautiful front woman had an ideal slot smack dab in the middle of a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. The Vermont band, formed in 2002, consists of Grace Potter (vocals/guitar/keys), boyfriend Matt Burr (drums), Scott Tournet (guitar), Benny Yurco (guitar) and Michael Libramento (Bass). Lured as if by hypnosis into the frenetic energy emanating from Potter, clad in a demure yet sexy long white dress, the entranced crowd heard a mind-bending opener of "Medicine.” The heavy guitar-driven bluesy rock and roll outfit, veterans of a plethora of festival appearances including Hang Out, Bonnaroo and GOTV in 2009, continued with a variety of old favorites and a slew of material from the new album The Lion The Beast The Beat, which dropped in June. For over 1.5 hours, genre-jumping and tempo changes proved a strong asset to the band as it segued from a slew of slower soulful tunes to toe-tapping rocking ones. One should also take note of bassist, Michael Libramento, who plays it upside down and left-handed, but nothing can overshadow the undeniable songwriting skill of Potter, who maintains her stature as a multi-threat, with her prowess behind the mic and the Hammond B3, complete with model-like aesthetics and her commanding stage confidence. Her style is reminiscent of an iconic ‘70s Stevie Nicks, but her voice remains a unique amalgam of the sweet nuance of Edie Brickell and the sexy hoarseness of Kim Carnes. Loyal fans know the calculated change she has made from the hippie styled wide-eyed singer/songwriter from just a few years ago into the polished and classy fashionista she has become. Sex appeal sells records, but unlike some other pop acts, Potter pulls it off because her talent consistently trumps more shallow enticements. In the wake of the news of J.J. Cale's death in the morning, Potter conjured up a stirring version of “Cocaine” and dedicated, “Stars” to the fallen idol. Not surprisingly, she invited her friend, Warren Haynes, who she dubbed, "The Godfather of Rock and Roll", to come out and sit-in.

Set List: Medicine, Never Go Back, Goodbye Kiss, Stars, One Short Night, Devil's Train,Turntable, 2:22, Big White Gate, The Divide, Nothing but the Water (I),Nothing but the Water (II),Your Time Is Gonna Come,Paris (Ooh La La),The Lion The Beast The Beat, Cocaine

Papadosio :: 4:00am-5:30am ::

Having performed a sunrise set at last year’s festival, it was well documented that Papadosio was one of the highlights for attendees of last year’s festival. In the vein of “why change a good thing?”, the schedulers brought back the jamtronica outfit, that has seen a meteoric rise of late, to recreate the same magic in the exact time slot this year and with similar results. The eco-friendly festival veterans and outspoken activists from Asheville, bombarded the senses for 1.5 hours to a resilient and responsive crowd of early morning revelers. Still travelling across the country in support of their studio album release, T.E.T.I.O.S., Papadosio continues to push the envelope with an energetic fury.

Find Your Cloud, Garden>Taking Turns, Magreenery, Puddles for Oceans, New Love, Dream Estate, Snorkle

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